Internationalization Behaviour of Cluster Embedded SMEs- Entrepreneurial Orientation and Role of Managers

Ewa Rollnik-Sadowska, Arnim Decker

Abstract


Purpose.  The purpose of this study is to understand the factorsthat influence the internationalization behaviour of SMEs from transitioneconomies within the context of industrial clusters from a theoreticalperspective of entrepreneurial orientation. According to Lumpkin (1996), theconcept of entrepreneurial orientation can be connected to autonomy,innovativeness, propensity for risk taking, proactiveness as well ascompetitive aggressiveness. Through these theoretical lenses, we investigatethe specific postures of management and the moderating effects ofentrepreneurial orientation on the internationalization of these firms.Methodology.Forexploratory research we conducted a comparative study of two industrialclusters from Poland and Romania. Datawere obtained through semistructured and open ended in-depth interviews withcompany representatives from six companies in both clusters, as well asrepresentatives from cluster related institutions. We identify and analyzeentrepreneurial orientation related attributes and the role of managers ofthese cluster embedded SMEs and their influence on  patterns of internationalization.Results.Wefind that different firm specific factors have an impact on theinternationalization of SMEs. The degree of entrepreneurial orientation variesaccording to factors related to the role that managers play, as well as pathdependency related factors which impact the trajectories of internationalization.Practical implications.The authors find thatinward and outward cluster linkages depend on nature of technology, personalityof entrepreneurs and other factors related to path dependency.Keywords: industrial cluster,transition economy, entrepreneurial orientation, role of managers.Papertype:Research paper.

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